You have a right to shine!
I have done degree of shrinking in my life, well may be not exactly shrinking but when someone has attempted to put my light out I have found it pretty crushing! Personally I think I have put a little too much emphasis on the whole issue of why someone would want to do that in the first place which, at times, has hindered my motivation to get out there and shine. I believe I have some understanding of the reasons behind that kind of behaviour and I guess largely it is a reflection of that persons own self image.
I am going to explore how we can maintain our shine regardless of the efforts of those who attempt to try and put our light out.
Ironically I believe it is the people that struggle with shining, that shine the most; and my reasoning behind that is there is an authenticity about those people, they are honest, raw and real. They don’t attempt to be something they are not, they don’t project negativity or jealousy they just are. That is a real and genuine BEAUTY that comes from within!
So what else makes a person shine? Compassion, kindness, integrity, care for others, optimism, warmth, self love, self worth, a gentle confidence, humbleness, a lack of judgement and fairness are just some of the traits that tend to exude from those that shine. If I had a pound for every time someone said to me ‘you are too nice for your own good’ I would, today, be a very wealthy woman. My question to that statement is: ‘What is the alternative?’, to become too horrible for either my own good or those around me; that does not sit with me, I can not make myself in to something I am not. I actually object to being told that ‘I am too nice for my own good’ as though I have no self respect or care towards my own wellbeing, that is not true. You can still be ‘nice’ without giving away your power or being some sort of pushover. Ultimately is it is all about BALANCE! It takes a great deal more courage and strength to maintain a good heart in what can be a very cruel and harsh world, never ever believe to be good is a weakness.
How do we maintain our ‘shine regardless’:
- Well I believe a good start is to stay true to you and what you value; if someone challenges your own healthy values and you sacrifice those, then the knock on effect will be that you minimise what feels right for you and that will compromise your ability to shine.
- Stop caring about those things that you can not change. I am not suggesting that you suddenly become an uncaring person; but there are certain things that you simply can not change. Giving energy to something that is beyond your control will only feed it and give it power. You can not and should never want to change another person, that is their right to do or not to do and ultimately their responsibility, what you can change however is your own approach. Do not shrink to accommodate another’s insecurities.
- I guess it is perhaps fairly crucial to keep reminding yourself that every time you stop yourself from getting out there and being you; you literally suffocate your potential, your happiness and your overall wellbeing. So remember that when you feel you are not growing, that you feel unhappy and your overall wellbeing is feeling pretty negative you hold the power to change that. Ask yourself what stops you? Is it past hurts, negative people, negative experiences. If so, my suggestion is let go of those and live!
- Anyone that provokes you to feel you have to prove your worth clearly gives very little worth to anything including themselves. Don’t feed their lack of worth by undermining your own! Step out of the way of yourself and others; you don’t have to compete, or win, or prove anything to shine, you just do!
- ‘Comparison is the thief of joy!’. Comparison, judgement, jealousy, control – they are all traits that when projected can completely rob a person’s joy. When you are on the receiving end of those projections it is very easy to want to crawl in to a dark hole and hide. Please don’t. Change the energy around the feelings that come up. Understand that those projections come from someone who is not authentic or honest with themselves. Your ability to ‘shine regardless’ is what triggers those traits to surface in those who actually aspire to ‘shine regardless’. They have the capacity to do so, we all do, that is our freedom of choice, but not to the detriment of another. Ask yourself if those people know the real you, the person that has suffered the same hurts, the same sadness, the same challenges; almost certainly they have blinded themselves to those facts and they choose to see only what they want to see. Your ability to shine in spite of what you may have experienced in life is so very much the thing that gives you that absolute right.
- You may think you add no value to the world. My sense is that if you are reading this then you are either questioning yourself, or you care, or indeed both; there is a great deal of value in that. What we resist persists and as they say very often resistance is futile. May be your shine is fighting to get out, reflect on whether you could just possibly be fighting an invisible war. Perhaps consider that the more you resist the more the challenges will persist until you have no choice but to concede that your inner beauty must come out and shine.
A few years ago, in one of the last conversations I had with my brother before he died, I was feeling pretty upset and his words to me were ‘but you are vital, the world needs you, you are the most vital person I know’. At the time it inspired me to write the following:
“You are VITAL that is: important, necessary, essential, crucial, compelling, significant, spirited, dynamic and vibrant. Never let anyone, including yourself, make you feel or tell you any different.”
Cherish how vital you are, don’t shrink or minimise who you are to accommodate others, they won’t thank you or probably even care. It is quite likely that you will only look back with regret that you ever really gave a damn. Stop hiding who you are and start celebrating how vital, important, necessary, essential, et al you are and ultimately celebrate that incredible ability you have to ‘shine regardless’.